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  • Carol Swartout Klein

An exciting week in the community

This has been a big week for Painting for Peace in Ferguson. The support for the project has been amazing. Here's a rundown of what's happened in the past few days.

St. Louis Public Library

About 50 people joined us for our panel discussion Monday evening at the St. Louis County Library, which featured experts in art therapy and patient advocacy. We talked to Rebeccah Bennett, founder of St. Louis’ Emerging Wisdom LLC, who graciously served as our moderator for the discussion.

Art therapist Dana Sebastian-Duncan, a volunteer for the Ferguson Youth Initiative, spoke about artwork as a means for parents and other adults to engage children in a conversation about difficult topics. Using art as a platform, adults can ask children open-ended questions without directing their own children’s feelings.

Panelist Dwayne Ingram, is a member of the I Love Ferguson board and a patient advocate at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He discussed the way he struggled to find a way to act, in spite of being a 35-year veteran of helping families in crisis. "One of the best things we can do is figure out what our sphere of influence is," Bennett said, "and then go do something. It’s the accrual of all the little acts of kindness and service that inspires change."

Rooster in South Grand

We had so much support from neighborhood activities who promoted and support our project. It was gratifying to see a group of children from the area come out to Rooster to hear the book and visit.

St. Louis Public Radio, "St. Louis on the Air"

We were privileged to be included in Wednesday's edition of St. Louis on the Air. Don Marsh interviewed Scott Bonner from the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, who has been a big supporter of Painting for Peace. Don highlighted two important pieces of recognition Scott received in March: The Library Journal named him a “mover and shaker” for community building, and he received the $10,000 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Facing Adversity.

“Painting for Peace” was pleased that our first donation of books is being used in the “Care kits” available for children at the Ferguson Municipal Public Library.

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